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More rapid pace for record-beating Miller

More rapid pace for record-beating Miller

One of Red Bull KTM Ajo’s new recruits for 2014, Jack Miller, was on the pace once again at Jerez to conclude the three-day pre-season test ahead of his rivals. Once again, the Australian posted a record lap in southern Spain.

There was little activity in the early part of the morning session, with a damp track not drying in misty and then foggy conditions. As riding became easier later in the day, Miller pushed ahead of his rivals with a 1’46.046 time on the seventh of just 17 laps undertaken in the final session of the week. After some inconsistent rides and injury frustrations over the last couple of seasons, Miller will hope he can convert his good test pace into race performance once the 2014 campaign gets underway.

Czech rider Jakub Kornfeil finished second for Team Calvo, registering a best time of 1’46.256, as he made tweaks to a solid base setting established last week in Valencia. In third spot was Niccolo Antonelli as he continued his good pre-season, with a best effort four tenths of a second off Miller’s pace. The Italian also has a good base setup already in place with the Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 KTM bike, but adjustments were made to weight distribution on the machine, as well as engine braking and rider position, as the improving youngster worked on race simulation on the final day.

Fourth on the final day - and seventh overall - was Finn Niklas Ajo, six tenths behind Miller on the Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo bike. Also under the Ajo umbrella - though within the Red Bull KTM Ajo structure - debutant Karel Hanika finished in the Thursday top five, though was fourth overall this week having made a good step forward on Wednesday. Completing the Thursday top ten were Livio Loi (Marc VDS Racing Team), Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing), Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo), Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team by VR46) and Phillip Oettl (Interwetten Paddock Moto3).

There was a crash for 11th-placed Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team by VR46) which briefly brought out a red flag at the end of Thursday morning, but the Italian escaped serious injury.

In the absence of Alex Rins following surgery on his right wrist earlier this week, Alex Marquez took charge of the workload for the Estrella Galicia 0.0 team on their new Honda Moto3™ machine. Marquez was 15th overall on Thursday and ninth best over the three days, 0.836 seconds off top spot. Young Frenchman Fabio Quartararo, who won Spain’s FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 championship in 2013, impressed as he stepped in to help Marquez’s team as a replacement for the recovering Rins – finishing 14th best overall on the timesheet.

The final collective Moto3™ (and Moto2™) test before the opening round in Qatar also takes place at Jerez from Tuesday 11 to Thursday 13 March.

Review full results for this week’s Moto3™ test in Jerez

Moto3, 2014

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